Monday, November 2, 2009


Glossary of orthodontic terms

  • Archwire: Wire running between braces which exerts a force to direct teeth to move in a desired direction.
  • Headgear tube: The tube on the upper molar band where the headgear is attached to the teeth.
  • Ball Hook: A part of the bracket used for attachment of the rubber bands.
  • Rubber Tie: A grey, colored, or clear tie used to secure the arch wire to the bracket.
  • Steel Tie: A small steel wire tied to the bracket to secure the arch wire to the bracket.
  • Coil Spring: A small spring placed around the arch wire to either maintain or increase space between teeth.
  • Elastics: A rubber band used to move teeth in a prescribed direction.
  • Gingiva: The soft tissue around and between the teeth.
  • Orthodontic Band: A stainless steel ring placed around back teeth to hold the arch wire.
  • Bracket: A small stainless steel brace glued to the teeth to hold the arch wire.
  • Overjet: The amount the upper front teeth protrude out in front of the lower front teeth.
  • Overbite: The amount the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth in a vertical direction.
  • Crossbite: When the upper teeth are positioned inside of the lower teeth. Ideally all the teeth of the upper arch should be positioned slightly outside of the lower arch.
  • Expansion Appliance: An appliance used to widen the top jaw.
  • Headgear Strap: A strap used on the back of the neck or around the crown of the head which is attached with hooks to the upper molars to help move the top teeth backwards.

Avoid all hard, sticky or chewy food (in other words, the things that you like the most).

  • Ice: You've got to be kidding. Don't even think of it.
  • Pizza Crust: Not a good idea. It is probably fattening and a non-pizza crust diet would probably do us all good.
  • Hard Pretzels: You might as well be eating rocks.
  • Rocks: You might as well be eating hard pretzels.
  • Doritos, Tacos, Tostitos, Cheetos, Fritos, etc.: All are some of my favorites, but for now, should be avoided.
  • Hard Rolls or Bagels: The last patient who ate these stayed in braces for 8 1/2 years (or close to it).
  • Beef Jerky, Slim Jims: Does anybody really eat these anymore?
  • Suckers and Tootsie Pops: I will bet that the temptation will be too great and you will bite.
  • Nuts: What do you think?
  • Pencils and Pens: A deadly delicacy during test time. Think twice.
  • Popcorn: Only if soaked in a soft drink for 20 minutes first and then each and every kernel dissected out.
  • Raw Carrots: These are fine — after they have been placed in a blender on high for about three minutes.
  • Carmel: Give me a break!
All of these foods will break brackets and loosen bands. Sometimes you may not discover something is broken until hours later.

Just say no! And walk away.

All My Love Now and Forever

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